Cisco Live, the technology company’s mixed physical and virtual event is scheduled to open June 27 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas and run through July 1. Dannette Veale, Cisco Live’s Global Virtual Strategist expects virtual attendance to reach more than 6,000 between attendees participating via uStream, Cisco Live’s Facebook page and Cisco Live’s 3D interactive virtual environment (on the InXpo platform). All this while physical attendance at the event is growing and will also be well ahead of last year.
Veale sees the event as a vital component in the overall sales strategy for Cisco and this year Cisco Live is introducing local Cisco office events. “Our sales people see this as a great opportunity to be able to bring their customers in for a day,” she says, “if not the entire three days, and get time with them in a way that they don’t normally get by really creating an event structure, a mini event if you will, at their local sales office.” Cisco will be hosting several satellite events that will be connected to the main Las Vegas event through the virtual event platform. The satellite events will be held in conference rooms and can access content from on-demand technical sessions as well as live elements such as keynotes, executive chats and panel discussions.
While certain keynotes, chats and super sessions will be broadcast over uStream, Cisco will also utilize ON24’s streaming and capture platform for other sessions aired over Cisco Live’s virtual environment. One change this year will be in turn-around time for captured video. Cisco plans to capture about 140 recorded sessions, but in a real time format which will reduce post-production time from 2 or 3 weeks to 72 hours.
The benefits of this fast turnaround are numerous—sessions are much more immediate and post-event communications can be done in a more timely fashion. “We don’t have to wait,” says Veale. “That’s the big thing for our attendees; we don’t have to hold the thank-you-for-attending message to two to three weeks post-event. We can actually get it out the week after the event now. And that’s one of the huge wins for us.” Attendees will have access to the session content virtually as soon as they get back to their offices.
The exhibitor presence at this year’s Cisco Live Virtual will be even larger than last year’s with a combination of internal and external exhibitors. Another innovation for 2010, several of the exhibitors this year, including CA/NetQoS and Fluke Networks, will be broadcasting live from the physical event directly back to the virtual audience. Other noteworthy events on the agenda will be keynotes from Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers and CTO Padmasree Warrior as well as a variety of technical seminars.
Another new element being introduced this year involves gaming. Cisco has recently released a new game to be incorporated into its event: Cisco Colossal Cranium Challenge, a trivia-based game built around Cisco history and leadership with a few pop culture references thrown in for good measure. Attendees can play solo or as part of a team and view their overall standing on a leader board. A second game, Cisco Jargon Jumble—to be released June 18—requires players to unscramble letters to discover hidden Cisco technology terms. Both games will be elements of an overall strategy to increase attendee engagement and interest (prizes will be awarded to the winners, for example).
For anyone in technology, Cisco Live is a must attend but if you aren’t in tech but are doing or thinking about producing virtual events or hybrid events, Cisco Live Virtual is a must attend for you as well. As we’ve reported on Virtual Edge before, this hybrid event won one of the top marketing awards in the industry (actually two)—with a B2B marketing event beating out consumer marketers for the first time ever. Make your calendar for June 29- July 1 and register at www.ciscolivevirtual.com.